Richard Chiem

She calls Dennis and looks at her cell phone, taking a moment before realizing she is staring blankly at herself in the screen's reflection. She smiles more genuinely when Dennis calls back with his name appearing in light. The phone vibrates in her hand, a vibration that reaches the hairs a little toward her neck. This is when her day gets better, she wonders. She drinks from her glass, tries to see the future glowing above in the ceiling lights.
A part of her hopes, and sinks, the deeper part while she leans against the dark wall in the hallway, in the back of everything behind everyone. The crowd in front of her looms with more and more bodies. Faces move in waves, blurs. The music rises and changes and the room darkens around her and then fills with neon effects and lasers. Somehow, awash in some blissful mood, she forgets what band she was here to see, what movie she was here to watch, which friend had called her out downtown to a club. Where she is does not matter.
She wants to headbutt a hole into the wall, swinging her head so hard into the wall so the wall collapses over and falls down on all the people. Instead she spins in the light arms outstretched. She is wearing attractive things today, like a new scarf, a new hat. There is suggestive innuendo in her posture, a warmer temperature. Everyone is turned away from everyone else in this place. Yet she knows the young people are touching each other in the crowd in the darkness up ahead near the stage. Bebe could see their hands.
She leaves the building and checks her phone under a cold street lamp. A black car materializes in front of her and parks. The windows appear dark and tinted. The passenger door opens and a voice says, Get in now.


(1/1) I want you.
She responds.
(1/1) I want to fucking destroy you, Dennis.

I've had this feeling for a long time and it's like I'm standing outside myself watching me do things I don't want to do, you know? Just seeing me like I'm someone else, but never ever being able to stop the show.
He says, I'm tired.
She says, My name is Bebe.
He says and swallows, Dennis.
He extends his hand, which she feels goes deeper than he knows when she reaches back and holds him. She strokes his arm. Besides for an attractive waitress reading a book in the corner, they are the only ones left in the diner, with black coffee still hot in their cups. They have a booth and a window. The light is thick to themselves. The song on the radio is a RANCID song. She wants a Diet Coke out of nowhere, and she knows he's tired.


She asks him Where did he come from. He answers, but it's as if she's looking for a different answer. When she leans closer in, causing what some might call a parallax view, Dennis recalls the first time he felt at peace and tranquility in his life and replaces the memory with Bebe in front of him. Bebe calls this space The Parallax View. She says I am your Cyclops. Look at me.


They dance their first dance with a waltz in the middle of a corvette diner like the famous scene in Pulp Fiction. Except Bebe is dancing more like John Travolta using her hands and Dennis is really just pretending he is the air, his eyes rolling back in his mind. He says, if we were a painting we would be a motion picture. There is writing on the wall that glows and reads feel impulse, and it looks like graffiti.


The rain has resumed in Paris. From walking through streets, from block to block from what she sees, this is a very dirty Paris. As always she appears absentminded or the very least she is distracted uninterested where her eyes go, where she is going. She walks lifeless in this way. Bebe day dreams a bigger universe that rivals the universe outside her periphery. How big is the actual universe. She is happier when she is aware of how much ice cream she is eating, how much she wants to share with everyone in front of a camera.
When Dennis is screaming at her in front of the hotel lobby, she remembers thinking there was a camera there. The moment was just like from a movie, she says. She says she was looking around for a camera while Dennis was yelling and yelling then walking away from her. The one bellhop awake looks over at them from the open steel elevator. Curious she stays in one posture, tucked in the lamppost light while Dennis screams at her and makes his expressive face less and less vivid.


(1/1) Are you walking away from me?
(1/1) Are you walking away from me?


I think you used to be
the highest paid
model in the world and
that's why you don't care

Your mouth,

of course, is a picture less room in which
an afternoon's gods get lost.

I would steal everything from you if you
give it to me like you want to give it to me.